E ven sharper and more daring (or radical) than the original, the 2019 edition of the RC coupe is a design departure from the normally cautious, conservative Lexus persona.
Low and sleek, the RC targets a younger, driving enthused buyer and it’s available in a wide range of models that will include (later this year) a race-track-ready (472-horsepower) limited edition RC F.
“Wow! That’s a good looking sports car,” was my initial reaction and it was followed by another “Wow!” soon after settling-in behind the wheel of the eminent white pearl RC 350 F Sport test car. A super comfortable bucket-style driver seat was nestled in a wrap-around cockpit that right away seemed to fit, like a high-quality glove.
My RC came with a 3.5 litre normally aspirated V6 engine that can generate 311 horsepower and delivers power to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. A Lexus Drive Mode Select system lets you choose between Normal, Eco, Sport, Sport+ and Snow modes to match your mood and/or driving conditions. The Sport+ mode also allows a driver to customize a personal drive set-up.
In addition to triple LED headlights and better aerodynamics, the RC now has a slightly wider stance and a lower centre of gravity. Hidden upgrades include new (adaptable) shock absorbers that provide more damping force and stiffer suspension bushings. There’s also an active noise cancelation system and cabin noise is impressively low, for a sporty car, at highway cruising speeds.
Push hard of the gas pedal, however, and the V6 lets out a raspy tailpipe growl at high rpm. In drive, the power surge is immediate and perfectly progressive. While this RC already provides ample power and performance for most driving enthusiasts, the 5.0 litre V8 engine that powers RC F takes performance to supercar levels.
An all-new 2020 MY version of the RC F will (for the first time) include a limited release Track Edition, for hard core driving enthusiasts. Although it will use the same normally aspirated 5.0-litre V8 that’s in the RC F, it’s lighter, faster and has more braking power. Combined with the new electronic launch control system, the RC F Track Edition will be capable of a 0-to-96 km/h (60 mph) time of less than 4.0 seconds.
“The new RCF and the Track Edition, in particular, benefit from constant development since their original launch. With the latest improvements, these models help further distinguish the F brand by offering fast, durable, highly capable performance cars that rely on a range of technologies to help make their performance accessible to drivers of all skill levels,” according to Koji Sato, Executive Vice President, Lexus International.
In addition to carbon fibre body panels (including a massive tail spoiler), the Track Edition sheds weight in key areas, like its Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors, and it has titanium muffler and tail pipes. Rarely used on production cars, titanium also gives the Track Edition a unique sound.
The Track Edition also comes with an exclusive red leather interior with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. The 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will start production during the second quarter of 2019 and pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale dates.
LEXUS RC MILD
Offering stunningly good looks, spirited performance and adaptable all-wheel-drive, the Lexus RC is a comfy, secure all-weather sports coupe.
LEXUS RC WILD!
Offering the hart pounding pulling power of big, juicy V8, the Lexus RC F comes with all the gear you’ll also need to help keep it on track.
LEXUS RC PRICING: $48,950 to $62,000
‘19 LEXUS RC F PRICING: $$87,350 to $98,800
BY BOB McHUGH
Bob has been writing car reviews and auto related stories for over 25 years and is a member
of the Auto Journalists Association of Canada.